Mt Pleasant News

Wash Journal   Fairfield Ledger
Neighbors Growing Together | Sep 25, 2018

Law and Art

Mt. Pleasant student’s artwork on display in HC courthouse through March 23
Mar 06, 2018
Photo by: Grace King Students, parents and curious residents of Mt. Pleasant came out to the Henry County Courthouse Sunday, March 4, to wander through the displays of artwork from kindergarten to 12th-graders in the Mt. Pleasant Community School District. The artwork will be on display until March 23.

By Grace King, Mt. Pleasant News


A breeze softly blew through the Henry County Courthouse on Sunday as students, with parents and grandparents in tow, wandered around the floors, looking for their artwork to show off.

This was the 43rd annual art show for students in the Mt. Pleasant Community School District (MPCSD) grades kindergarten through 12th on March 4. The show is to celebrate Youth Arts Month during the month of March and showcase the talented students in the community in a safe and central location.

As an advanced placement (AP) art student, David Blancas has nine pieces on display at the courthouse, mostly landscape. His interest in studying architecture after high school inspires him to draw buildings. A small-town kid with big dreams, the New York skyline is often a source of inspiration.

“I’ve always been into art, always way more fun than math or reading,” Blancas said.

Brier Klossing, another AP art student with 10 pieces displayed, said that art is an important part of the Mt. Pleasant community, and it was clear to her with the turnout of visitors Sunday that the arts are supported here.

“Art makes me think in a different way,” Klossing said, whose artwork focuses on endangered animals. “I want to bring awareness to people about endangered animals because they shouldn’t be disappearing. It’s exciting to let everyone else see what I’ve been doing.”

The artwork displayed is chosen mostly by art teachers, but in some classrooms, students also get a vote on whose pieces get a space on the courthouse walls. Each school in the district selects 50 students to highlight. On Friday, art teachers spent a couple hours framing and hanging the artwork. Refreshments on Sunday were provided by the Mt. Pleasant High School Culinary Arts Department.

As an art teacher at Harlan and Lincoln Elementary Schools, Dawn Wiley’s favorite thing about Youth Arts Month is seeing her students get their picture taken in front of their art pieces.

Like Belen Merida who stood in front of her stitching project of a chick that hangs on the first floor of the courthouse. Pride was written all over her grandmother, Yanira Merida’s face as Belen explained to her what she is learning in art class.

“Since it’s here, it means it’s done well,” Yanira said. “(We’re) very proud of her.”

Harlan Elementary School third grade teacher Michelle White, who was searching with her son for his art project, said that the show is so important to showcasing every child’s talent, an ability that can’t be calculated by a test.

“The kids who do this have an amazing way of looking at things differently,” White said. “I see children’s artwork who I never knew were interested in art.”

Mt. Pleasant Middle School art teacher Michelle Peterson said sometimes the students who struggle in core subjects shine in art class as hands-on, right brained, creative thinking students.

“Some of the kids who don’t get showcased in sports or certain academia, they’re brilliant in creative intelligence,” added high school visual arts teacher Rebecca Bos.

As a new teacher to the MPCSD, Wanda Broeker said that she loved the open-house atmosphere of the court- house Sunday, and that people in the community had even been asking about donating art supplies.

“We’re only a half-hour in and we can hardly hear ourselves talk,” Broeker said toward the beginning of the gallery Sunday as people continued to arrive. “We want to thank everyone who showed their support today.”

Trisha File, who retired from the MPCSD 10 years ago, said she never misses the gallery. She believes that art is an important part of learning that needs to be supported by school districts and the community.

“This is an outlet unlike any other for kids to have,” File said. “When I was a teacher, it was that 45 minutes once a week that kids could work on something entirely different.”

As Sara Weatherington walked around the courthouse with her son Landen Seymoure, she said that seeing her son’s artwork on display meant a lot to her because her grandmother was an art teacher.

Seymoure’s grandfather Scott Scotton said that although students may not act like it, they are proud to have their artwork displayed. Terri Scotton added that having this outlet to showcase their artwork helps develop student’s talent.

The student’s artwork will be on display at the Henry County Courthouse until March 23.

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